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Bing is swinging back at critics with new data that shows Bing Ads is successfully serving Yahoo search ad click volume.

According to a new Bing Ads blog post, Bing Ads delivered ad clicks against more than 99 percent of Yahoo desktop traffic and approximately 90 percent of traffic from mobile devices over the last month. The click volume continues to average 99 percent of Yahoo’s April baseline click volume as well.

The post also says that a 1 percent deviation month-over-month is a normal reflection of seasonal queries.

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In April, Yahoo and Microsoft renegotiated their search partnership after six years, which led to rumors that Bing Ads would not be successfully serving Yahoo search ad click volume, but the data disputes those claims.

Under the old deal, Bing Ads delivered all the desktop search ads across Yahoo properties, but the new deal allows Yahoo to serve up to 49 percent of that traffic from its own Gemini ad system. Additionally, both companies can now sell their own ads, which previously only Yahoo could do.

My SEM writing tends to focus on optimization and organic outreach, but with organic reach shrinking across the web, paid search advertising is becoming an increasingly important part to growing your brand and attracting new customers. Paid search has changed just as much as SEO over the past few months of 2014, and Ginny Marvin from Search Engine Land recently compiled the 10 most important developments. Her list is a handy way to catch up on all the Bing Ads and Google AdWords advancements you need to know about.

OldSpice BabyEvery brand wants their commercials to go viral, but how do you connect with viewers on the internet? It might seem like common knowledge, but the best way to get users searching for your commercial is comedy. At least, according to Bing Ads’ list of most searched for ad campaigns it is.

Just as with their recent list of 2013 search trends, Bing Ads has put together the most searched for ad campaigns of the last year, as well as the most popular brand searches on Bing in 2013. Perhaps unsurprisingly Old Spice took top billing with its “Baby” as starring Terry Crews, as well as their more surreal “Watermelon” ad, viewable below.

http://youtu.be/hfiiWGWhB9g

Despite mostly dominating the top 10, humor wasn’t the only thing internet viewers looked for in commercials. The third most popular commercial was from Skype’s “Stay Together” campaign, and GoPro’s “Fireman Saves Kitten” also closed out the list. Notably, two of the ads – Chrysler Ram Truck’s ad and GoDaddy’s “The Kiss” – originally appeared during this year’s Super Bowl.

Bing Ad’s Most Searched Advertising Campaigns of 2013

  1. ‘Baby’ and ‘Watermelon’ – OldSpice
  2. Baby & Me – Evian
  3. Stay Together – Skype
  4. Show Your Joe – Kmart
  5. Hump Day – Geico
  6. The Kiss: Bar Rafaeli’s Perfect Match! – GoDaddy
  7. ‘Grandma’ and ‘Werewolf’ – AT&T
  8. Test Drive – Pepsi MAX
  9. The Year of the Farmer – Chrysler Ram Truck
  10. Fireman Saves Kitten – GoPro

Bing didn’t stop with just the most popular ad campaigns though. They also collected the most searched for brands of the year, organized by their market. Ebay was the most popular shopping network, followed by Amazon, while Ford came out the winner for automobiles. You can see the rest below:

Most Searched For Brands 2013

You may remember that Google recently started testing large banner ads on branded searches. It raised quite a stir in the online community, mostly because it seemed that Google blatantly broke an older promise to never show banner ads. But, Bing is taking branded search result ads to the next level.

Larry Kim reports that last week, at the Bing Ads Next conference, Bing Ads announced their new ad format for exact match keyword searches, specifically those done within the latest Windows 8 update. Instead of a relatively small banner ad, Bing Ads are rolling out Bing Hero Ads, a full landing-page like layout that aggressively promotes the exact brand.

Just as with Google’s banner ads, Bing Hero Ads are only starting with a small number of prominent brand advertisers, such as Disney, Home Depot, Land Rover, and Volkswagen. It will also be a while before you can expect to see Hero Ads on your average search. For the moment, they are only appearing in a small selection of searches done in Windows 8.1 within the US.

It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to these types of branded semi-landing pages. Google’s banner ads looked fairly customized for each brand, , and only take up a relatively small amount of on-page real estate. A full-page ad experience for exact match branded searches may be welcomed as a quick and efficient way to connect with the brand searchers are looking for. It is also possible that consumers will be turned off by the seemingly uniform ad experience.

The one clear advantage Bing’s Hero Ads have over Google’s banner ads is their ability to deep link directly to a larger amount of pages on a site. They offer links such as “contact us”, “find a store” and “request a quote” which speed up users experiences and allow them to convert more quickly.

Just as with search, when we talk about PPC advertising, we almost naturally shift the majority of our attention to Google and their AdWords advertising platform. It makes sense on the surface, Google receives a significantly higher volume of search than other engines and even higher CTRs. But, some marketing analysts are beginning to believe it may be more effective to put an emphasis on Bing ads, especially if you are advertising for a small business.

Pricing Engine, a small business marketing platform, has found that Bing ads are “more efficient” than AdWords, as they become a lower cost source of leads for small businesses.

As Search Engine Land reported, Pricing Engine examined their own data from hundreds of accounts, and they found that CTRs were indeed marginally higher on Google, but CPCs were significantly higher. As such, it seems that you actually get more for your dollar with Bing ads.

Big brands will still favor the higher volume of searches on Google, but smaller businesses don’t require the same kind of scale. Investing in marketing with a better return per cost may pay off in the long run.

Bing Ads LogoAdWords has become so synonymous with PPC marketing that it wouldn’t be hard for the outside observer to believe that is the only PPC platform available. Of course, they would be wrong, as all of the major search engines also offer advertising options, but you just don’t see Bing Ads in the headlines as often.

However, any PPC marketer would be a fool to completely write-off Bing Ads without giving them proper consideration first. Experienced PPC marketers are extremely aware that AdWords basically offers zero insight into Google search partner performance, aside from aggregated metrics. Bing Ads, on the other hand, has features that offer visibility into the Bing and Yahoo search partner network, as Marta Turek recently highlighted on the Bing Ads blog.

  1. Bing Ads offers reporting for individual search partner performance within the Bing Ads UI. You can find the capability under Reports > Standard Performance > Performance > Website URL (publisher).
  2. You are also able to exclude search partners from ads groups and campaign levels. You just have to check the box next to the campaign or ad groups you want to add exclusions for, and click “Make Bulk Changes” from within the sub-navigation. Then, select “Website exclusions” from the drop down menu. You will be able to add up to 500 sites for exclusions, and it is as simple as copy and pasting from a list.
  3. The ads offer targeting for just search partners at the ad group level. Start out by clicking on an ad group and opening the settings. Ad distribution is listed under the advanced settings section.

Bing Ads has more than three unique features that Ad Words is lacking. The three above are simply those Search Engine Land pulled out of Turek’s more comprehensive examination of the platform. You may spend the majority of your time focusing on AdWords, but you should be making sure to include time to take advantage of the tools Bing Ads offers.

Bing Ads is the clear runner-up in to AdWords in the search engine advertising game, but they’ve seen a way to set themselves apart and give users something AdWords is not. Recently, Bing jumped on AdWords introduction of ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ and, more importantly, the vocal concerns of some users. The general manager of the search network, David Pann, announced that Bing would not be bundling mobile, desktop and tablet advertising together and would give users the flexibility to control their own campaigns.

Not only is this a clever step by Bing to promote itself while putting down Google, but it also gives advertisers an alternative to ‘Enhanced Campaigns’. There’s never been much of a difference between Bing and AdWords, but now you can trade one for the other based on your preferences. Of course, one still comes with a fairly significantly larger audience.

Read more about Bings recent announcements, including some planned changes and the future direction of the product at Search Engine Land.

Bing Ads has been fervently working to become a realistic competitor and alternative to AdWords. Recently, they debuted their own location targeting tool, similar to one AdWords trotted out last month.

Just like AdWords, Bing users can now target only those in specific geographic locations or only those visiting specific websites.

So far, Bing has simply been trying to keep up with AdWords innovations, but they obviously are attempting to become a real competitor to Google.

Head over to CMS Wire for the details on the Bing Ads location targeting tool.

Bing Ads recently made Sitelink Extensions available to all U.S. users, which allows advertisers up to 10 sitelinks to their ads. This helps consumers navigate directly to their desired page, rather than landing on the homepage and having to find their way around.

As Pamela Parker reports for Search Engine Land, during beta testing, click-through-rates for ads with sitelinks improved by as much as 25-percent over standard ads.

In another tweak, advertisers no longer need to be logged in to use the ad preview tool.